The Slovak National Center for Human Rights (SNSLP) as a national institution for human rights and a national anti-discrimination body is drawing attention to dangerous legislative efforts to suppress women's rights. It points out that on Wednesday, 17 June, three bills were submitted to Parliament aimed at amending the Abortion Act.
"The Centre, together with the professional community and several institutions and organizations of the third sector, has repeatedly warned in the past two years of the danger of submitting such draft bills that would restrict access to a safe form of abortion," said the Centre's representatives. According to them, restricting access to safe abortion will result in an increase in illegal and underhand (often dangerous) interventions and an increase in 'abortion tourism' abroad.
Čaputová: Bans won't resolve essence of abortion problem
In reaction to the controversial bills, President Zuzana Čaputová said that she does not think restrictions regarding abortions will resolve the essence of the problem. "If there is consensus in Parliament on providing assistance to women so that they can bring a pregnancy to its full term rather than undergoing this intervention for social reasons, that is something I would, naturally, support. But I don't think that restrictions resolve the essence of the problem," stated the president, adding that she views abortions as a bad thing, but she doesn't think it would be correct to resolve the issue via legislative bans.
"We know what happened abroad. This only led to illegal and other solutions. When a woman wants to do it, she'll find a way," said Čaputová. The president pointed out that Slovakia is dealing with completely different problems at the moment. "Until recently we were facing the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak, and now we're facing and will face its social and economic impacts," she said.
OLaNO to submit its own draft
MPs from the far-right People's Party Our Slovakia(LSNS) have submitted two bills to Parliament via which they want to restrict abortions and prevent abortion tourism in Slovakia. Meanwhile, Independents around Tomáš Taraba have submitted a draft law that is aimed at improving women's knowledge about the risks of abortions. They were inspired by an amendment that was submitted by the OLaNO party in the past. OLaNO in reaction said that it would probably submit its own draft to the July parliamentary session as well.